*I am not a medical professional. You should always consult with your qualified medical professionals before beginning any new supplements or dietary changes. This is purely based on my personal research and what works for me as a passionate health conscious mama.*
Nutrition is a passion of mine… we were gluten free before it was a fad (we have celiac). Walking through a celiac diagnosis and allergies with my second child opened my eyes to how much impact nutrition has on us! As a family, we are 100% gluten free (the non-celiac individuals consume gluten away from home) and prefer to follow a combination of paleo and traditional (Weston A. Price) diets. We all feel better off processed foods, sugars, and grains. Since we are a large family, we can’t afford to be 100% grain free- but we do our best to follow healthy practices within out budget guidelines.
One of the books I read while pregnant with my toddler is Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. I had previously read Real Food and found a lot of insight so this was the natural next step for me.
I understand how hard it is to eat well during pregnancy, with all five of mine, I suffered with hyperemesis (HG). I lost between 15 & 40 lbs with each pregnancy, even though I started out with extra fat on my bones, losing weight while pregnant is not ideal. When I was in my 20’s and hadn’t a clue about nutrition, I followed the doctors and dieticians advice to eat whatever I could get in- even if it came back up. I drank lemonade (not the real stuff made at home) and bright red hawaiian punch because those liquids I could get in without throwing up- even plain water came back up. Now, I shudder at the thought of the “fuel” I was putting in my body! With baby number 4, I was 35 and had been deep into nutrition for about 7 years… I knew better! I would do better! I found a couple tricks that helped (I was still violently ill- but managed to vomit less and actually gain 18lbs during the pregnancy).
- Magnesium at bedtime- this also helped with bowel movements & leg cramps
- B6 supplements- you get yellow pee, but whatever
- A healthy non grain carb source first thing in the morning- for me it was a banana
- Eating & drinking through the nausea (you actually feel better when you stay hydrated and nourished)
- Homemade lemonade and electrolyte drinks- lemon juice, filtered water, and a combination of honey/stevia and a sprinkle of real salt.
- Good Girl Moonshine- this is a drink based on apple cider vinegar- it also helped tremendously with acid/heartburn. I realized toward the end of the first trimester with my 5th baby that a lot of my nausea was related to an acid imbalance in my stomach (maybe from not giving it enough food… but I digress).
While pregnant I followed the rule- if it sounds good, eat it… we can’t run through drive ups or have unlimited access to junk because I have celiac, so this wasn’t a bad rule for me! Sadly, with my 5th pregnancy NOTHING sounded good. I lived on bunless burgers with aged cheddar and gluten free quesadillas for a while… but I ate and I didn’t eat crap. My husband would traeger half a dozen burgers for me and I would just pull them out and heat up when I needed food. In a perfect world, quesadillas would not have been part of my diet— but I could get them in and keep them down, so sometimes they were on the menu- gluten free corn tortilla and all.
While breastfeeding, I gain weight… (weird right- I lose while pregnant and gain while nursing). I have found that I do best on a paleo/grain free diet with plenty of healthy fats and good carbohydrate sources (sweet potatoes, squash, minimal fruit). Because I have a lot of dietary restrictions, aged cheese, cream and butter will always be part of my diet. We prefer raw milk and I highly recommend it to anyone with access!
Here’s a perfect nutrition day for me:
breakfast– decaf coffee w/ heavy cream and a dash of maple syrup, sauteed veggies and leftover meat (I can’t eat eggs any longer… sad), water
lunch– veggies w/ meat, sweet potato or small portion of quinoa, grated aged cheese; water, homemade electrolyte drink/GGMS or juice cut with 2/3 sparkling water. I make a BIG plate… breastfeeding is hungry work!
dinner– my family might have gf pasta so I have either spaghetti squash, sweet potato, or sauteed cabbage topped with whatever pasta sauce we have… or a taco salad instead of tacos/nachos… or a stuffed sweet potato instead of white. I make small changes for me from the regular dinner to reduce carbs. I can have a large plate of spaghetti squash with meat and sauce and feel satisfied, full, and energized.
late night– pumping milk full time makes me hungry… I find myself wanting to eat around 10pm again… not ideal… however, I’ve found if I don’t feed my body when it says so, my milk supply drops dramatically… this is when a little dark chocolate can come in handy or a shake made with cream and frozen raspberries or an apple with a little nut butter. My junk food of choice is cold cereal… so if it’s in the house, I may end up with a rather large bowl of rice chex… not ideal. It’s best to keep all junk foods out of the house- then you can’t eat it when tempted. A lactation cookie or two could be good for this snack time- but be aware of sugar- the more you eat, the more you crave (boy do I know this story!!!). Be sure to drink more water or a homemade electrolyte drink or GGMS.
Good Girl Moonshine~
This is the drink of choice among the Trim Healthy Mama set… there are so many variations to it- it can be a delicious craving curb addition to your daily routine. I recommend making a quart up in the morning, keeping it in your fridge and pouring a glass over ice throughout the day. Be sure to finish the quart by bedtime. This is an amazing drink for pregnancy, breastfeeding, for your thirsty toddler, and husband that’s addicted to anything that isn’t water (I have one of those…). It’s great for anyone, any time.
The original recipe can be found at the THM site and includes:
apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
water and ice
extracts/flavors as desired